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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 183rd session
(Geneva, 15 October 2008)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Marwan Barghouti, an incumbent member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/183/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 182nd session (April 2008),

Referring also to the expert report on Mr. Barghouti's trial by Mr. Simon Foreman (CL/177/11(a)-R.2),

Taking account of the letter from the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, dated 13 May 2008, which he addressed to the IPU Secretary General on behalf of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel,

Recalling that, in response to its as yet unfulfilled wish to pay a private visit on Mr. Barghouti, the Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the meeting she had with the IPU President and the Secretary General during their visit to Israel in early February 2008, stated that such a visit could be arranged; noting, however, that in his letter the Permanent Representative stated that the matter was still being processed by the authorities,

Recalling that on numerous past occasions the authorities have allowed Palestinian friends and political associates of Mr. Barghouti to visit him and even allowed Al Jazeera and Al Arabyia television crews to interview him in prison,

Recalling also that there have been calls from within Israel for the release of Mr. Barghouti, most recently by Mr. Amir Peretz in March 2008 when he stated that Mr. Barghouti could be a key element in achieving stability and helping the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) assume responsibility,

Bearing in mind also the prisoner exchange between Israel and the Lebanese group Hezbollah which took place on 16 July 2008, a move which the United Nations Secretary-General welcomed, expressing the hope that it might soon be followed by action for the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit and of Palestinian prisoners,

  1. Reaffirms, in the light of the compelling legal arguments put forward in Mr. Foreman's report, on which the Israeli authorities have not provided observations, that Mr. Barghouti's trial did not meet the fair trial standards which Israel, as a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is bound to respect;

  2. Reaffirms further, in the light of the expert report, that Mr. Barghouti was transferred to Israel in breach of the Fourth 1949 Geneva Convention and the Oslo Accords; consequently once again urges the Israeli authorities to transfer Mr. Barghouti to the custody of the Palestinian authorities;

  3. Deeply regrets that it has still received no answer to its request to visit Mr. Barghouti and fails to understand why it should take so long to process this long-standing request when even television crews have obtained such authorization;

  4. Expresses the earnest hope that Mr. Barghouti and the other detained Palestinian legislators will be included in any prisoner exchange, which it hopes will take place soon;

  5. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 120th Assembly of the IPU (April 2009).
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